ASHBURN, Va. - Washington Football Team coach Ron Rivera made it very clear Sunday afternoon following a terrible 23-20 loss to the New York Giants. Alex Smith is the starting QB for the WFT this Sunday in Detroit.
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He also said that Dwayne Haskins would be the No. 2. It was a question that I had and have mulled over in this space and on the radio, but Rivera cleared that up as well.
Now, Haskins is one snap away from returning to the field and showing what he's learned after being benched by Rivera and his staff following a Week 4 loss to the Ravens.
That step will only happen (for now) if Smith is injured. That scenario is obviously very possible, as the WFT quarterbacks have a brutal non-stop track record of injuries to their signal-callers.
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While fans and certain members of the media continue to beat the drum for their own agenda and desires, Haskins is closer to playing today than he was last week ... but he's not closer to starting unless Washington has no other choice.
"I think it will be very good for Dwayne," Rivera said in the video clip above. "Dwayne's going to get an opportunity to see how to truly prepare for a game as a starter."
What does that statement say from Rivera? While many talk about mixed messages, you don't have to be a genius to understand that what Rivera is suggesting is that Haskins not only doesn't know how to prepare to be a starter but he didn't work hard enough to figure it out.
"Body by Instagram'' only counts for so much.
Rivera pointed out that he admires Alex Smith's work ethic and compared him to Phillip Rivers, who Rivera was around in San Diego a decade or so ago.
He mentioned that Rivers was a first-in, last-out (of the building) type of quarterback, as Smith seems to be. That's what it takes at this level.
Rivera said Haskins has been doing good things behind the scenes and that certainly leads to his opportunity to be one snap away ... but as always, the real challenge now becomes this: Can a player maintain that work ethic and dedication that he didn't have earlier? Will he learn? Will he mimic Alex Smith?
Fate has handed Dwayne Haskins another opportunity, of sorts. It's up to him to grasp it.